tv MSNBC Live MSNBC June 23, 2011 6:00pm-7:00pm EDT
challenge the country really does have, that's one of them right here. just taking it and sort of fobbing the costs all off on people over 70, that's just ducking the real issue. >> mm-hmm. alex, a quick last word? ten seconds. >> well, i think what this does is it forces the larger conversation about the american social compact, and that's something where democrats will stand really strong in a period of high unemployment and economic woes, you know? this is good for them. >> all right. thank you, alex wagner and josh marshall. that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. more politics ahead with cenk uygur. >> republicans walk out on budget talks. is this another trick to get democrats to do what they want? tonight, eric cantor shuts biden's budget meeting down over taxing millionaires and billionaires. senator bernie sanders responds, live, tonight. and in new york city, president obama's expect to speak out on gay marriage at a fund-raiser with gay supporters. will he deliver for gay rights or do they have to keep holding his feet to the fire?
plus, america, meet one of the unpopular republicans in the world! literally. why is paul ryan still so popular in washington when the american people can't stand him? and newt takes a page from sarah palin's con job playbook. you don't want to miss his latest hilarious excuse for failure. welcome to the show, everybody. i'm cenk uygur, and tonight's lead, sometimes there's no talking to the republicans. literally. because they will storm out of the room like little kids. i'm taking my budget and going home! today, a major breakdown in budget negotiations as house majority leader eric can torre flat-out bailed on the talks. he says he can't deal with anymore talk about raising taxes on billionaires. poor cantor. moments ago, nancy pelosi moments o cantor's move in an exclusive interview with our own lawrence o'donnell. >> it's an interesting tact. it doesn't happen to be valid, because the point is is that
we're willing to have a balanced package. they're not. they're not. they don't want to talk about taxes. you can you can't -- but it's interesting, we knew, and they all said, they said, even though we can agree on certain cuts, you won't go for them unless we raise taxes for the american people. no, we're not. we're just saying to make our tax system fair so that everyone pays their fair share. >> hours after cantor polled out, republican senator jon kyl did the same. until, finally, planned talks led by vice president biden were simply canceled for the day. john boehner says he understands cantor's hissy fit. >> i know the frustration that he feels when democrat members continue to want to bring tax hikes into this conversation, and i think mr. cantor's made it clear that these conversations could continue if they'd take the tax hikes out of the conversation. >> now, the obvious reality is that the gop thinks they can
push the democrats around. so they're drawing another line in the sand on taxes. and honestly, who can blame them? the white house, as usual, had an inexplicably horrible strategy in the so-called negotiations. they agreed to at least $2 trillion in spending cuts before they even started talking about taxes. and now they're expecting republicans to discuss taxes, after they already gave them the spending cuts? why would they do that? can anyone really be this bad at negotiations? by the way, if that negotiating strategy sounds familiar, it's because it is. obama gave republicans more than they originally asked for when he agreed to roughly $38 billion in budget cuts to avoid a government shutdown. now, who gives their opponents more than they ask for? months before that, the president agreed to extend the bush tax cuts for the rich. these guys are like a reverse priceline. they go in and make the highest bid against themselves and then wonder why they didn't get a good deal. and that's exactly why republicans now believe the white house will roll over every single time.
but don't take my word for it. take mitch mcconnell's. >> they could not get a tax increase on people making $1 million and up through a congress that they had overwhelming control of. taxes aren't going to be raised. if they couldn't raise taxes when they owned the government in the last congress, you know they can't do it now. >> oh, he's rubbing their faces in it! but the really scary thing, democrats are signaling that they might not only back away from raising taxes on the rich. are you ready for this? they might also be willing to lower taxes. on corporations. >> the way we're dealing with revenues is not raising taxes, we're actually going back to the reagan approach, which is, you know, lowering tax rates, getting rid of a lot of the tax exemptions. >> or to sum it up, they're going to slash spending on programs that help the middle and low-income families while lowering corporate taxes. so you tell me -- are democrats the worst negotiators in human
history? or is everyone in d.c. playing a game on us where they know the outcome is, where we're going to take the hit again and the rich and the powerful are going to slide again? all right. let me pose that question to a man who doesn't play those games. independent senator from vermont, bernie sanders. senator, great to have you here. as i look at this, i think, i mean, wasn't this the most obvious, to be expected move of all time, when you first give away the spending cuts, and gee, i wonder why the republicans didn't go along with the tax cuts? >> cenk,ç i think you hit the nail right on the head. and here's the pity of it all. by overwhelming numbers, in every single poll that i have seen, the american people believe that deficit reduction must be accomplishedhrough shared sacrifice. that the wealthiest people in this country can no longer enjoy huge tax breaks, that corporations making billions of dollars in profits are not paying a nickel in taxes have
got to have those loopholes addressed. that's what the american people believe in overwhelming numbers. my view is that the president has got to use this republican walkout as an opportunity. and what he has got to do now, very firmly, is go to the american people and make it clear that he will never support deficit reduction, which does what the republicans want. and that is move toward a balanced budget on the backs of the elderly, the sick, the children, and the poor. and you know what? if he does that, he's going to have the american people in huge numbers on his side. when mitch mcconnell says, oh, they want tax increases, what we are talking about is undoing bush's tax breaks for the rich, plugging loopholes, which allow millionaires and billionaires to stash their money in the cayman islands and not pay a nickel in taxes. when we say we want to address those issues, the american people are with us. the president must take that fight to the people.
>> you know, senator sanders, i wish the president listened to you. that would be awesome. that would be perfectly logical. you would have the people behind you. i really doubt it. so i'm going to ask you a question about whether you think the white house is a little naive or if somehow -- i want to show you a clip from earlier. after we gave away all the tax cuts again to the rich, the president was asked about what's going to happen during these negotiations. and an interesting response. let's look at that.ç >> when you say it would seem they'll have a significant amount of leverage over the white house, what do you mean? look, here's my expectation, and i'll take john boehner at his word, that nobody, democrat or republican, is willing to see the full faith and credit of the united states government collapse, that that would not be a good thing to happen. >> you know, senator sanders, when i saw that happening, when
it happened, i was like, really? he's going to take boehner at his word? you know, i look at that, and i really wonder. and i mean, you're in washington, you're a senator, you know better than i do. can he possibly mean that? does he really think that boehner will be like, yeah, i'll do whatever you want, i'll just do what i told you i'm going to do. you can't believe that, can you? >> the president understands that the for the first time in our history, not paying our debts in a world economy which is on very shaky grounds would be a very bad thing. and the president is clearly right. but on the other hand, what we also know, cenk, is the republicans are tough! and, yeah, they understand the repercussions of this, but they are prepared to take it to the president. and i think the dynamic of it is that they assume that they're going to be firm and that they are going to prevail and that the white house and the democrats will collapse.
and the vast majority of the people support, if you choose republicans not to raise the debt ceiling, if you refuse for the first time in american history not to pay our debt, and if we enter a depression or huge kinds of financial instability, the american people will know that that responsibility is on your shoulders. you are the ones who have done it. áyou have done it and we're goig to take the case to the american people. but to keep backtracking, to keep capitulating, i think, is not what the american people want. you know, we talk in a general sense about trillion dollars in cuts. we're talking about throwing millions and millions of people off of medicaid. we're talking about making it impossible for working class families to send their kids to college. we're talking about cuts that are in nutrition, which will increase the amount of hunger. this is a lot of pain that the republicans are tossing out while they want to protect their rich friends. the president has got to stand tall, take the case to the american people, and hold the
republicans responsible if the debt ceiling is not raised and the repercussions of that. >> all right, senator sanders, i want to give you another poll about paul ryan's plan. the american people hate it. 57% saying we'd be worse off. 34% saying we'd be better off. those are terrible numbers, obviously, for the republicans. so we've got the wind at our back. but my guess is, my very, very strong hunch is that we're going to come out of this, they're going to take some tax loopholes away, there's going to be a deal at the end, but they are going to actually lower corporate taxes. when that happens, you know, i can't begin to tell you the disappointment in real americans. i've seen it in poll after poll. what's going to happen in washington? are they just going to -- >> all i can tell you, cenk, is i'm going to be on the floor, i believe, monday at 4:00, speaking at some length about this issue. the idea -- number one, this is terrible public policy. middle class is collapsing. they don't deserve cuts. the rich are getting richer, they have got to pay their fair share of taxes. and second of all, this is what the american people believe in.
they believe in the concept of shared sacrifice, not balancing the budget on the most vulnerable people in this country. so i'm going to do my best, and i think the american people have got to chime in very loudly and say, hey, mr. president, stand with us. stand with us and be prepared to take on the big money and trust. we'llç be back at your back. >> though would be fantastic. senator bernie sanders, as always, a great pleasure. thank you for joining pu ining . >> my pleasure. no with me, dama milbank with "the washington post," and michael steele, former rnc chairman and msnbc contributor. i want to talk to you about why cantor did this and how does it all play out. first, dana, it's also possible, of course, and not just possible, certainly at least a part of the occasion is that cantor is doing this in relationship to john boehner.
and the question is at what point on this journey do this you do that. that's where we always like to start. and it's an easy place to start. the hard place to really start is with the cuts. how much are we willing to pair back on that. inside the politics side, on the taxes, spending, and what the american people perceive more broadly, they want the republicans at least want that to be a part, a serious part of the discussion. i mean, cenk, in the real sense, your problem is less with republicans and more with the democrats. in terms of what they're willing to come to the table with and how firm they're prepared to stand. so that we do have this very, i think, important discussion about the relative role of spending with respect to entitlements and all the other programs that are on the table right now. >> you're mostly right, michael. my problem isn't with the
democrats, because they won't kick the republicans' ass. they've got the american people behind them, why don't they actually go and fight? with it looks like their heart's not into it. >> but, cenk, what are you kicking our ass with and over? >> taxes. the majority of americans want to raise taxes on the rich. if you raises taxes on the rich, you can create 1 million jobs over clinton. if you lower taxes, you lose 1 million jobs over years. ive got the facts, the american people, i'm ready to fight. >> you're all loopy on the facts. >> what do you mean, loopy? >> you're to the taking into account that under that period you're talking about, and they are too goo periods to contrast, look at the level of spending by the government, when you clinton and the republicans working together to reduce spending and to increase the revenue through lower taxes, and you have, you know, more spending turned bush terms, while you're at the same time cutting taxes. you just can't do it both that way. so the reality of it is -- >> yeah, but michael, here's
what everybody always tells me on the republican side. if we just cut taxes, the economy will passamagically -- >> it's not just cutting taxes -- >> but we did, we cut taxes for ten years and the economy tanked. you guys are wrong. i wish the democrats would make that case. i've got to go to dana. dana -- >> i don't want to get in the middle, guys. >> no, cenk, you've got to take into account -- >> no, no, no. dana, when you look at the democratic side, isn't the real problem that they don't really believe any of this? they never take the fight to them. look at mark warner says he wants to cut corporate taxes. is this all ka bookie theater, and at the end, they've all made a secret deal anyway, and they'll come out and say, yeah, we're going to raise the debt ceiling and lower corporate taxes? >> the silliest part of all of this, the democrats don't have to be in this position of raising taxes for anybody. they can just say, look, we're getting rid of all of these loop
hol loopholes. but it seems obama's almost sticking it to the left here. almost as if there's some humiliation. it's been going on with the budget cuts, tax cuts, with libya, with afghanistan. you can see the democratic members, particularly in the house, are just livid with what's going on. but they feel powerless. there's nothing they can do. they can scream and yell like bernie sanders did, but ultimately, they're stuck. >> they're stuck with a democratic president, who isn't really progressive. and as you said, he's almost rubbing it in their face. all right, that's great. i love being stuck that way. so -- by the way win bet that really works out for him when he's looking for growth. that's a great winning strategy. dana milbank, michael steele, we've got to go right there. we're out of time. love you guys, we'll talk again soon. >> you got it, buddy. when we come back, washington loves paul ryan, but that's about it. so why does d.c. love this guy when the rest of the country have no interest in him?
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knowing that the tide of war is receding. fewer of our sons and daughters e serving in harm's way. >> now, as usual, the president said all the right things last night when talking about afghanistan, the tide of war is receding, as you just saw, time to do nation building, here at home, fantastic, great. but when you look at his actions, the results were not quite as encouraging. obama's decided to go with a, quote, centered course, of course he has, but as a result, no one is happy. chairman of the joint chiefs of staff didn't seem on board with the plan today. >> the president's decisions are more aggressive and incur more risk than i was originally prepared to accept. >> shocking that the pentagon wanted more troops for a longer period of time. that's what they always say. now, let me say something really shocking on television. the chairman of the joint chiefs is wrong, dead wrong. and there's a reason for that. he looks at it from only a military perspective. he's not in the peace business, he's in the war business.
we need civilian leaders with strength, to stand up to the eternal quest for war coming out of the pentagon. and here's where you're not going to find that. in the republican party. what a surprise. the republicans didn't like president obama's plan either. >> i thought his speech tonight was deeply concerning. when america goes to war, america needs to win. we need to close out the war, successfully. >> i think that the president is taking an unnecessary risk tonight with what he is doing. >> these guys want perpetual war. and if the president was looking for support from his own party, he didn't get much of that either. the great majority of democrats wanted him to take more decisive action for quicker withdrawal. representative nancy pelosi says, "we will continue to press for a better outcome." senator kirsten gillibrand calls the plan "disappointing and not good enough." let me break down why this didn't work for president obama.
i think he made two mistakes. the first was that by choosing the middle ground he'd make more people happy. he won't. that almost never works. look, almost 56% of american people want us to remove troops as soon as possible. who cares what the people in washington think. your position should be in the center of the american people, not the center of d.c. now, that leads to the president's second mistake. he thinks that this plan is the middle ground. it isn't even close. even if the president removes all the surge troops by the end of 2012, as he promised, there will still be twice as many troops fighting in that country than when he first took office. look, that isn't progressive, that isn't pro-peace, that isn't centrist, that is decidedly center right. his rhetoric in this speech was great. i listen to him and i go, wow, that's great, that's what i like to hear. but his actions leave nus in a situation that is more right wing than when he came into office, that is unfortunately so often the problem for this administration. all right, joining me now, democratic representative from
oregon, pete defazio. congressman defazio, great to have you here. >> thanks. >> let me just first get your simple take on the speech. enough, not enough? >> look, you know, the afghan tribal factions inter and intratribal have been fighting and feuding for several years. there has never been a strong central government, there never will be. we can stay 12 months, 36 months, 120 months, we are not going to nation build there and make it into the image of a modern state. i believe we should draw down much more quickly. and as the president said, the one point of his speech that i agree with is it's time to nation build here at home. just think, over the next three years, we'll spend over $300 billion, borrowed, in afghanistan. just think what we could do here. if he gave me half that money, i could put about 4 million people to work, rebuilding our infrastructure. that might not be a bad thing. >> you know, the senate democrats passed a jobs bill or wanted to pass a jobs bill that
had $200 million extra, not billion, $200 million extra, and the white house said it was too much. and yet we're going to stay in afghanistan until 2014 and kids are going to die there, for what purpose, no one knows? let me give you a poll from the republican side. last year, only 18% were in favor of withdrawal. this year for the republicans, 64% want withdrawal. so who does the president think that he is appeasing? who does he think he is making happy? the pentagon? who is it? why is it such a low withdrawal? >> i guess he's trying not to look, as democrats are accused of being, weak in face of the military and the pentagon. he's the commander in chief. he showed with the assassination of osama bin laden he's not weak. and he could have taken them on, but he chose not to. it's a tragedy here. it's a tragedy for the extended involvement of our troops in an area that is no longer critical to our national interests. guess what. is al qaeda going to flood back into afghanistan when they can go to yemen and sudan and
they're already in pakistan? no. why would they go to such an isolated place? so, you know, this is not in the national interest. draw down quicker, bring the money home, bring the troops home and spend it putting our people back to work and rebuilding our economy, not theirs. >> concession to the pentagon or the republicans, don't look strong if you ask me. and the republicans, they're even worse, as always. look at what mitch mcconnell says. i want to play you a clip real quick here, where he talks about their position on afghanistan is dependent upon which party's in charge. amazing, watch. >> i do think there is much of a tendency to pull together when you are -- when the guy in the white house is on your side. so i think some of these views were probably held by some of my members, even in the previous administration, but party loyalty tended to kind of mute them. >> so, great, because we have a democratic president, now they're more likely to oppose
afghanistan. that seems grotesque to me. like, do they have any principles? >> after 9/11, we all tried to draw together. bush tried to have a resolution that said he could go anywhere, any time, at his discretion, for anyone he identified as being an enemy of the united states. i was key in the democratic caucus at that time saying, let's focus in on war powers and let's limit the action to people who were involved in 9/11, aided and abetted or harbored them. and that's what we did, on a bipartisan, almost unanimous vote, one dissenting vote. we came together when we were in crisis. i think when people realized something that's going on is not directly a threat to the united states or not necessarily directly in our national interest, then they feel free to engage more in politics, and that's what's going on here. the president's playing politics in one way, the republicans in another. the american people are being disserved, we need to bring the radios and the money home. >> i don't want one more u.s. soldier or troop dying in afghanistan. it's a waste. i feel sick about it. we got bin laden, it's time to
come home. congressman peter defazio, great talking to you tonight. we really appreciate your time. >> thanks for the chance. >> all right. now, when we come back, newt says it's not his fault his campaign's falling apart, it's that damned liberal media. so ironically, or appropriately, we'll rip him again. newt's whiney excuses is our oncon job of the day. herman cain shows his thin skin and she has jon stewart is a racist. do conservatives love playing the victim card. [ shapiro ] at legalzoom, you can take care of virtually
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the next, washington loves paul ryan, but he's not winning popularity contests anywhere else, so why does d.c. love this guy while the rest of the country can't stand him? and president obama looks for donations from the gay community tonight. but some gay rights activists say he doesn't deserve their money. whether he's delivered for the gay community is a very interesting question and we'll get both sides of that debate, ahead. [ female announcer ] ever wish vegetables didn't taste so vegetably? well, v8 v-fusion juice
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run. great to have all of you here. first power question, why is paul ryan so liked in washington and so disliked in the rest of the country? a new bloomberg poll found that congressman ryan is the third most disliked republican with 26% of people viewing him unfavorably. he finishes behind only sarah palin and newt gingrich. so, bob, let me start with you. what's going on here? the polls are disastrous for ryan, but in d.c., everybody's like, oh, he's so serious, he's so great. it's not just republicans, obama, clinton, with et cetera, they've all given him compliments and comments. why the disconnect? >> well, first of all, i think that there's a realization out there, meaning outside the beltway, that what he's doing is just another backdoor attempt to privatize something that is probably better handled as a government program. in this case, he seems to be saying, oh, you can trust the insurance companies. i think that there's a belief in
washington that at least he is coming out to say we have to do something about the problems with medicare. the problem is it's sort of in the do something, even if it's wrong category. >> baratunde, though, why the love in d.c.? aren't politicians normally supposed to say, look at the polls, and if they aren't in favor, why all the love? >> the idea that washington loves a bad idea is not news at all. and in this case, paul ryan just happens to be the recipient of this misplaced love. members of his own party are pretty much evenly split about his plan to quote/unquote voucherize medicare. obviously, liberals and expects are far less favorable about the entire idea. i think things are finally coming back to him. yes, it was bold, but it was also wrong. and this is the same washington that loves the idea of deregulating every financial institution, so they can engineer the biggest heist in american history. not always a sign of leadership when you disagree with your constituents. >> absolutely right. but kiki, what's your take on this?
what's going on? why is ryan still getting love in d.c.? shouldn't they be running from him? >> well, he might be a nice guy who's fun to have a beer, but i think as others have said here, what this shows is that most americans don't like his ideas. but here's the other thing. he didn't do this in a bipartisan fashion, cenk. he didn't show up with an idea and show why lots of different people might agree with it. what he did was come out with it in a very hyperpartisan attitude when he put this out there. and i think that's where some of the negativity from the public comes from. >> right. that is no no-label way to go. >> exactly. exactly! now you get it, cenk. now you get it. >> i also love the idea that the number one on that list is newt gingrich. and i think what happens there is that people realize that he can't even pay people to like him, his own campaign won't stick around. that's not a good sign of leadership. >> but, you know, to be fair, actually, sarah palin is number one, newt gingrich is number two. >> oh, i got confused. >> a little difference. let's do the next question. do conservatives love to play
the victim? herman cain is the latest in a long line of thin-skinned republicans who insist on playing the victim card. last week jon stewart poked fun at him to promising to sign no bill longer than three pages, which is a comical idea. now cain is claiming that stewart took a shot at him because eahe's an african-american. >> look, i've been called every name in the book because i'm a conservative and i'm black. so if he wants to mock me because i'm a black conservative, i does not care. >> i call him an african-american, but he doesn't like that title. he likes to be called black. for some reason he's against the title "african-american," but baratunde, isn't there a great irony in conservatives coming out and playing the race card? >> i'm going to be slightly more fair to herman cain in this case. i think part of what he was saying general. he said, look, sean hannity asked him, what do you think about jon stewart making fun of you and calling you out.
he said, i've been called out for many things in my life, i've been called out for being black. i think the irony is not him playing the race card in response to jon stewart, it's in light of what he said in the debate two weeks ago, despite his history of being a black man in america, he's willing to blindly discriminate against muslim americans, demanding loyalty oaths and saying he doesn't feel comfortable with that. so that for me is much more of a problem with herman cain and race rather than the thinness or thickness of his skin with regard to jon stewart. >> let's broaden out. i've seen this movie before, for example, with sarah palin. she said in the "runner's world" magazine, she said, "the out of context "newsweek" approach is sexist and so so expected by now." so you've got conservatives saying, oh, liberals, they love to play the race card and the sex card and stuff, but the minute they're out there, oh, "newsweek" is sexist, et cetera.
>> well, look. first of all, this is one of the few bipartisan things we have in the united states. both sides play the politics of victimization. you're either blaming blacks, gays, or newt gingrich's secular socialists or socialist sexists, i don't know. and we on the other side will sometimes talk about some of the abuses of the conservative movement. personally, i frequently believe that our society has been victimized by some of the bad people in the business or financial sector. the difference, of course, is that i'm correct and the others are wrong. >> you know, here's the thing about it, though. whether somebody believes something has been sexist or racist is very personal. it's not my place to tell them how to feel. but you know what, he just missed a great chance to talk about his whole proposal that legislation's too many pages, too long, too weighted down, not realistic, and he had a chance to turn it and do something with that conversation. and he took it in different direction. >> so bob's point about
victimization, he's making a victim right now out of the oil industry. saying that he would have them write the environmental legislation that would restrict their excessive and damaging behavior. that's the wrong type of victimization, i think, with herman cain, that's what i'm much more worried about. >> baratunde, great point. he thinks shell oil should run the epa. that's the crazest idea i've heard in my life. okay, is it high time to legalize pot? barney frank and ron paul have introduced legislation that would, quote, limit the federal government's role in marijuana enforcement, allowing people to legally grow, use, or sell marijuana in states where it is legal. kiki, you know, i know democrats don't want to touch this. republicans, are, of course, against it. but, come on, isn't it time? this war on drugs has been incredibly counterproductive. >> well, this just goes to show there's room for bipartisanship on every issue out there, right? if you can have this kind of conversation here, because there are a lot more complicates factored in this today.
we have medical use of marijuana. regulated at the state level in some countries. but what's interesting is look at the two people who are having this conversation and leading it. you have ron paul, clearly, the most conservative favorite, right? if paul ryan is not the favorite, he must be the favorite of true conservatives across the country. and barney frank, a real liberal. they found something that they can work together and maybe that's a little bit of a model for the rest of us to look at. >> i would not be looking at a presidential ticket that will have ron paul and barney frank on the same ticket. but i do think in this particular case, this shouldn't be really looked at as a surprise. on the one hand, you have barney frank who strongly believes that government should stay out of personal matters, and you have ron paul, who believes that government should stay out of all matters. >> right pinpoint makes sense. i wouldn't mind that ticket. i think it's a fascinating ticket. baratunde, last point, we're spending $300 million extra, that was just announced on the war on drugs. isn't this futile?
>> we ran an article in "the onion" over a decade, front line headline, "drugs win drug wars." when you look at the amount of money we're spending, the lives we're throwing away, with mass incarceration, and the tax revenue we could generate in this economy, pretty obvious we should loosen up those regulations. >> great panel tonight. thank you all so much. power panel! all right, when we come back, president obama's in new york tonight for a fund-raiser with the gay community. but as new york state moves closer to approving gay marriage, some gay rights activists say the president's evolving stance on gay marriage isn't good enough. we'll talk/debate that, next. a lo t of
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dusz president obama have a gay marriage problem? that's a really interesting issue and we'll get both sides on it and i'm curious to find out which side is right, we'll discuss that next. [ male announcer ] millions of men 45 and older just don't feel like they used to. are you one of them? remember when you had more energy for 18 holes with your buddies.
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[ male announcer ] thanks to advanced natural gas turbine technology from ge, the power that will help make our nation more energy independent is right here in america. [ crickets chirping ] ♪ [ cheers and applause ] advanced gas turbine technology from ge. ♪ it's a lovely day to be gay in the empire state. legislators in albany are on the verge of making new york the sixth state to legalize same-sex marriage. with legislation only one vote shy of passing, they're very, very close. further south, the president is wining and dining the gay community at a re-election fund-raiser in manhattan. he'll likely tout some of his first-term accomplishments to the crowd, like repealing don't ask, don't tell, calling for the repeal of the defense of marriage act, and signing hate crime legislation.
but those successing aren't enough for everyone. protesters are rallying outside tonight's fund-raising event, angry over the president's failure to come fully in support of marriage equality. he's expected to address the issue tonight, reiterating his support of civil unions nationwide while letting the states decide marriage on their own. but he's indicated recently that that stance may change some day. >> my feelings about this are constantly evolving. my base line is a strong civil union that provides them the protections and the legal rights that married couples have. and i think -- and i think that's the right thing to do. but i recognize that from their perspective, it is not enough. and i think this is something that we're going to continue to debate and i personally am going to continue to wrestle with going forward. >> so has the president done enough on this? let's talk about it. joining me now, lieutenant dan choi, a former army officer who was fired under don't ask, don't
tell. he was forced out last year after serving an extended tour in iraq. and brian elner, a senior strategist for human rights campaign. he's joining us from albany, where he's on the front lines of the battle for marriage equalit in new york. great to have both of you here. dan, let me start with you. has the president done enough? >> no. and i believe for gay rights for lbgt community, the alarm clock is blairing. blairing and telling everybody to wake up. this president continues to push this the snooze button and i think it is a grave insult to people bho who have worn this uniform, who fought for all-americans, in every state. whether in new york state or kansas, where i'm at today. i think we need to be treated as equality is zens in all of the states. let me tell you one thing, cenk. gay people from the very first moment that we're born, are told subliminally that we're never going to be good enough. the democratics or president obama to tell me that i'm not
good enough because i'm not democratic enough or i don't donate enough money i think is a perpetuation of the second class citizenship and i think it urks people deep down in their core. >> brian with you how do you balance this out? it is a fairly long list for president obama on the gay rights issue and probably any other issue. dan makes a good point. why do i have to accept anything less than marriage equality? >> no one should accept anything less than marriage equality. that's why i'm fighting for it in new york. this is an extraordinary moment for us as you mentioned in the morning, we are passing in new york. we have an extraordinary governor in andrew cuomo who has been championing this. we have quite an amazing movement in the state. look, there's no question that the president should support
marriage equality. that having been said, no president has done more for lbgt americans than this president, barack obama. the list is impressive. from hate crimes bill, to repealing don't ask don't tell. dan choi, lieutenant choi did a lot of work on it. we are thankful for that work. pretty soon lesbian and gay services can serve openly. that is with our president together, a bipartisan coalition of republicans and democratics to repeal that. of course most recently the president said he will stop defending the so-called defensive marriage act. he also said he is evolving on the issue. we want limb to evolve all the way. when you look at the totality of his record, it is clear to us that the president deserves to be re-elected, deserves to be supported and commended for so much of that work.
>> dan, you know -- >> brian, i like that -- >> you keep the president's feet to the fire, you know that, right? but brian makes a good point. that is a long list of accomplishments. >> no, i actually disagree. it is not impressive because when we judge a president we should not say this president is so amazing that he is better than george washington with his powdered wig. we judge a president based on the demand for equality as well as the promises made or kept or denied. i don't agree with his assessment of how don't ask don't tell actually did get erased. it actually hasn't been erased yet. until i can finally say that this uniform is not only the uniform of straight americans, or white americans or eighth generation americans, this uniform is the uniform of all-americans. then we can celebrate. but right now is not the time to celebrate. i would take a page from martin luther king, jr.'s play book. he did not endorse a president
named eisenhower or john f. kennedy or johnson or humphrey in 1968. what lessons can we move from the civil rights movement and apply them today? if anybody is tolerating the silence of this president on our marriage equality, as brian you are working so hard out there, you deserve that battle buddy of president obama, particularly if he says he is a fierce advocate. if you continue to give money to him, then you should watch out. maybe we will see as we did in 2 t fl 2009 a rick warren. i don't think i want to give my endorsement cheaply or prostitute myself to a president's agenda because i am american and i am good enough. for anybody who says we are not good enough, they are per pet actually indulgent and perpetually dissatisfied. >> hasn't the gay rights community done a good job by putting a lot of pressure on be a wz republicans do?
>> look there's no question pressure needs to be put on. we are here putting pressure. we are celebrating and working hard to pass marriage equality in new york which we fully expect will happen. >> i got you. we got leave it there, guys. i'm sorry, we're out of time. >> all right. >> you guys are great. thank you so much. we'll be right back. anybody home? ♪ yes! ha ha! ♪ [ clicking ] dad, what happened?
>> as newt gingrich sabotages his own presidential campaign, well his goofy executions are our con job of the day. gingrich says the media attacks him because he is obama's most formidable opponent. what is he tom cruise from top gun? yeah, i'm dangerous. i don't know, if tom cruise did it that way. the reality is that his campaign is own dlan danger to itself. he is the second most unpopular republican in the country. he is second only to skplin.
newt has an interesting take on why he has lost so many top staff snersz philosophically, in a way that many of you who have known me in a long time understand, i'm very different than normal politicians. normal consultants found that very hard to deal with. i believe in big ideas. i think that's how you campaign. you talk to the american people about big things. >> i love that idea. here is how that meeting goes. newt says i have a grand idea. we should lower taxes and corporate traxes. staffers are like, what? i don't understand that idea. it is too big. i can't fit it into my head. newt is too much after genius, i have to quit immediately. is that really how it goes? okay now i will clue newt into a couple of real problems with his campaign. there is a fact he can't raise money and his campaign is up to a million dollars in debt. he think he is frugal as he has a million dollar bill at tiffany's. he alienates oth